Six sights not to miss in November

Here’s to beauty in numbers: a field of flags, miles of twinkling lights and turnips everywhere. If you’re looking for a spectacle this holiday season on Cape Cod, join the crowd.

Six sights not to miss in November:

1. 6th Annual Field of Honor Display (November 9-12)
Maybe it’s our proximity to Plymouth Rock or to the shining sea that surely inspired Falmouth native Katharine Lee Bates to pen “America the Beautiful,” but patriotism takes on special meaning on Cape Cod. The annual Field of Honor at Johnny Kelly Park in South Dennis honors veterans with a stunning display of American flags to benefit Operation Delta Dog and Emerald Hollow Therapeutic Center. The display is part of a nationwide tribute to men and women in uniform; take time out to walk among the waving flags and give thanks in a rare field of dreams.

2. 9th Annual Glassblowers’ Christmas (November 12 through December 30)
From glimmering whimsical characters to shimmering jewel-toned orbs, the gorgeous hand-blown creations at Sandwich Glass Museum give holiday lights a run for their money. The annual exhibition of handmade ornaments features the work of glass artists around the region and country. (Lest you run out of branches or names on your gift list, the exhibit always inspires creative ways to display the ornaments in your holiday—or year-round—home.)

3. Eastham Turnip Festival (November 17)
The under-celebrated root vegetable gets its due at the annual Eastham Turnip Festival, easily one of the most jubilant food celebrations in America. Turn up (ha ha) early to score a few of the uniquely sweet homegrown beauties for your own kitchen (they’ll sell out fast), then sample the competition at the annual cook-off (turnip ice cream? yes), before joining in for some turnip line-dancing, turnip bowling, turnip-decorating, turnip ode-singing, Enormous Turnip weight-guessing, and turnip speed-peeling. Whew! Three things: Yes, you are leaving in a balloon turnip hat; yes, you did see kids reading turnip books to dogs; and yes, Eastham turnips are hands-down worthy of all the exuberant fuss.  

4. Illuminate 2018 (November 19)
As America’s hometown counts down to the 400th anniversary (in 2020) of the Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock, the town’s annual Illuminate event celebrates the beginning of the holiday season with a candle-lighting on Hedge House lawn—if you don’t believe in magic, see how one small flame can light up a waterfront. Afterward, browse the downtown shops aglow with holiday lights to pick up some early gifts and seasonal treats to take home, along with extra inspiration to spread the joy. 

5. Annual Lighting of the Pilgrim Monument (November 21)
In a town known for spectacle—whether Carnival parades or sweeping dunescapes—the annual lighting of the Pilgrim Monument is still one of Provincetown’s iconic sights. The lights shine through January, but if you’ve never been there when the switch is flipped, add it to your list of holiday musts. This year’s ceremony begins at 5 p.m.; the lighting is at 6 p.m. Every year, the silhouette of 3,100 lights against the night sky pays tribute to this beautiful and historic coastal town: May it never know a dull moment. 

6. Gardens Aglow at Heritage Museums and Gardens (begins November 23)
If “gardens aglow” conjures twinkling trees and storybook scenes, the annual festivities at Heritage Museums and Gardens will still surpass your holiday dreams. From marshmallow roasts and reindeer scavenger hunts, to old-fashioned carousel rides and model train displays; from cups of hot cocoa and visits with Santa in a vintage Model T Ford, to sparkling ice sculptures and live performances in the automobile gallery, this family-friendly celebration is sugarplum-sweet. Now add miles of holiday lights, moonlit skies, and glowing grounds.

When it comes to holidays on Cape Cod, the more, the merrier.

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